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Teaching

I was charmed by this op-ed in today’s NYTimes about how a teacher changed a person’s life.  There is almost always an edge to the tale of inspiration, however.  Be sure to read all the way to the end.

In the same vein, at my other blog yesterday I wrote a bit about a Pittsburgh feel-good story about an influential teacher and his students.  (The source story, a column in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, is here.)

As some madisonian readers know, last December I rotated out of my Research Dean appointment at Pitt Law and accepted a new gig as Faculty Director of something that we call the “Innovation Practice Institute.”  (The website is in the process of being completely overhauled, so I won’t link to it.)  The IPI is sort of a center for teaching about and studying innovation law, but it has a twist:  We’ve designed and accepted a mission that specifically connects innovation in law practice and law teaching with innovation in the community and business, anticipating outcomes that will impact the Western Pennsylvania region.  There will be new courses, not all of them in the IP area, and new and/or different pedagogy, and we will spend a lot of time partnering both students and faculty with innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, and organizations and institutions — both for-profit and not-for-profit — in Pittsburgh.

Later, I’ll write more about some details.  The point here is that more than a handful of the lawyers and innovators that we (the IPI) are talking to are my former students, now returned to the scene of the crime, as it were, delighted to be invited to participate in shaping the next generation of legal leadership.  It is a great thing to see your students succeed, and that perspective increasingly gives me a different view of the men and women who were my own best teachers.